Defense spending: What’s in the president’s budget?

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This week on Fed Access, Jon Harper, managing editor of National Defense Magazine, joined host Derrick Dortch to discuss President Donald Trumps’ fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Defense Department.

Head shot of Jon Harper
Jon Harper, managing editor, National Defense Magazine

According to Harper, the president’s budget will increase spending for research and development on new technologies designed to maintain a military edge over Russia, China and other adversaries, while reducing procurement spending on existing systems.

Harper said that under the president’s plan, R&D funding for FY 2020 would increase by more than $9 billion to $104.3 billion. That’s nearly a 10 percent increase and the money will be used to pay for emerging technologies such as drones, unmanned ground vehicles, hypersonic weapons and lasers.

Meanwhile, procurement funding would decrease by $4.2 billion, a 3 percent drop from 2019.

During the interview, Harper explained why the Pentagon is shifting its spending priorities, and he discussed new DoD investments in machine learning, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

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